This UK Pub Has So Far Made Over $25K By Banning Phones

That ringer is going to cost you.

By Ethan L. Johns
August 13, 2018

Image: iStock

The pubs and the bars were once places to mingle and meet new friends. Now, more and more people prefer to socialize with their phones while sipping their pints.

How does a public house put an end to this reclusive behavior? One English pub has pioneered a remarkably successful strategy: ban the tiny screens and fine anybody who is caught using them.

Since opening in 2011, the Just Reproach micropub in Deal, Kent, has upheld a no-phones policy, which is backed up by a simple system of fines. If a phone rings or beeps, barflies can be slapped with a penalty of £1 ($1.28).

In a report from U.K. tabloid The Sun, it was revealed that the simple fine had actually been quite a boon, and that the Just Reproach had raised a total of over £20,000 to date (worth over $25,500), breaking down to roughly $3,600 per year.

The sound of a cell ringing apparently creates good cheer, according to the staff, since everyone knows that the money is going to a good place.

The pub, however, was quick to issue a humble correction about the numbers on its Twitter page.

“We’re very proud of raising £20,000 in 6 years for charities but it’s journalistic licence to imply this was all from phone fines. Our thanks go to our amazingly generous customers and visitors who give their time and money for such good causes.”

Which is the better deed, banning the phones or donating the funds? Other bar owners may now note that the two mix quite well.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns